I have been writing at this site for a very long time. Too long, probably. I can tell you the names of so many recruits we have had over the years that have barely made an impact, whether they were highly rated of lowly rated. Remember Ishmael Aristide? Sawyer Dawson? Al-Terek McBurse?
Guys come and go. When today’s player committed as part of Darrell Hazell’s extremely low rated 2016 class he was at the bottom of the individual rankings as a little heard of 2-star.
He has grown into one of my favorite players though.
Semisi Fakasiieki - Super Senior
Compton, CA (Dominguez HS)
6’2”, 230 pounds
2021 Projection: Contributor at linebacker
Semisi has been with us a long time, and I have to do this one more time for him, because he is...
Why is he one of my favorites though? He has not been a star at Purdue. He has 52 tackles and a sack over 28 career games. Decent numbers, but not all-world numbers. He didn’t even see the field his first two years, redshirting in 2016 and not playing in 2017. Honestly, when I saw his recruiting profile and looked at where Purdue was heading into the 2016 season I wondered if he would ever see the field.
He is a damn Boilermaker though. He worked his way to the field by sheer force of will and hard work. Purdue probably has had at least 5 four stars that played the same number of games or less combined that Semisi has played in his career. He was originally recruited as a defensive lineman and now plays linebacker. He has put in the work and has become a quality depth player. He even voluntarily came back for this season as a ”super senior”, taking advantage of his free sixth season due to COVID. It wouldn’t surprise me to see him using it to get a free year to work on a doctorate.
That’s what I admire about him so much. Here is one of the very few guys left that was recruited by the failed previous coach. He didn’t have to come back this year, but he chose to. He is not expected to be a star, but his experience means he will play and provide depth and leadership on the defense. His best season was two years ago, with 38 tackles, 2.6 for loss, and a sack. I expect him to vie for a starting spot as a middle linebacker. At minimum, he will see playing time in the rotation.